Written on December 23, 2015. By Shari Norvell
I hold a great longing, deep inside me. It is…
to be holy
Just typing it rounds up a sigh of such proportion, that if released, would gust as greatly as the wind outside our room this day.
I discovered long ago that holiness is not equal to seriousness. And praise Him for that. For if being such were the measure, I would be doomed for sure. The earth suited ones from which I descend pretty much adhered to the motto, “If you ain’t laughing, you ain’t living.” If you were to sit beneath the branches of our tree, it might seem a bit shocking. Honestly, for a long time, I felt this generational “blessing” disqualified me from any “holy woman of the year” award. I may have believed that, because, well, in the arena I was in, that was the teaching of the day. But…
On the day my grandad leapt into Heaven’s home, I realized that what felt like unwieldy lightning flashes bursting forth was actually our inheritance of the joy of the Lord. Has it ever been our strength! Grandad had been sleeping most days away. We had been with him for weeks, taking shifts around the clock. We were exhausted. My cousin came in for his daily check in. He called to Grandad and he woke up, looked at my cousin and asked him if he had shaved through a screen door. It was not the funniest thing the man ever said. It was the moment he chose. It was the truth that though he was going, we were staying and he didn’t want us to forget who we were and what the good Lord had given to sustain us. I will never forget the joy that filled the room. It wrapped us like a wooly robe on a blustery day. It was holy. And that is how we remained even as we said goodbye.
So, with that truth tucked in my pocket, HOLY became a quest. Some years ago, we were on a Blue Flame trip in South Carolina. Upon a land where the first Jewish people worshipped and prayed, we stood. I wanted to lay upon it. Forever. Because it was so very holy. I left there torn beautifully through and empty of the understanding of why.
That moment would tickle the edges of my mind much. One of those occasions came after I had missed the mark so bad, I think my arrow left earth and hit another planet! As I sought solace in Solace Himself, Pappa played for me the Moses Movie. This moving picture was not made for TV or the big screen, but my heart.
I saw Moses, trembling before the burning bush. I saw the path that led him there full of detours, rest stops and some litter here and there. And to be honest, things got kinda wild inside. Untamed by hope. Cuz I got some debris on my road and a few potholes too. But everyday there is holy. In the Moses Movie, I saw why.
Before a bush ablaze, a man stood imperfect. The fierce of fire fanned his face. He had been angry before and would be again. Yet, he would also stand atop a mountain and tell a people to remember the shabbat and keep it holy. This must have roared right out of him, because experience makes things mighty. His happenings had filled out the phrase. He lived it before he said it. The shrub stayed stoked, and he remained. And he remembered the whole story.
“Remember’ the ‘Shabbat’ and keep it ‘holy’. "Meditate upon, pay attention to, recite, recollect and proclaim your atonement, your delivery and the rest you found until you burn, are aflame with who I AM.”
If Pappa asks us to remember, that invitation comes with the full expectancy that there is something wonderfully worth remembering. It implores us to begin the next exploit upon the foundation of the one that came before. Fear or faith, danger or discovery matters not. Remembering to the holy does.
To the holy. That was my morning. Some blogs meet their posting before the day has seen its dawn. Others waft about as the day decides what it wants to be. This morning, I was typing away when Pappa prompted me to go outside. I closed the door, met the wind and a disaster. Well a potential disaster that hinged completely on me finding holy. Becoming holy.
I felt my breath catch a bit faster than it should. A couple of times. Then I started remembering and I stayed there till holy came. I’d seen brasher and bolder than what stared me down. Things shouting with all they have that they are bigger than me. So, I recollected. I love that! I re collected all He has ever done until it was whole again. That’s when I found holy in me. The wind once formidable, caressed my face and danced in my hair. And I felt Him, everywhere. And I wanted to lay upon that moment. Forever. Or until the next holy moment meets the one before.
There are many ways and means, teachings, ideologies and theologies for how you can access, encounter and experience God. But for me. I have found, the thing that never fails. The thing that takes me deeper than the day before but not as deep as tomorrow, is to remember. To the holy.
Merry CHRISTmas. May you meet and meld with the Holy One, in a way you have not yet known and will never, ever forget.
Take some time to recollect. To re collect – all that He has done. Until its whole again, no longer fragmented by the toils and trials. And then, write what you found when you went all the way to holy.